The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

The Splendor of Alfred Newman: “Love” and “The Seven Year Itch” Due on CD

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The music of Alfred Newman’s son Thomas will resound at theatres in the United States this Friday with his score to the blockbuster-in-the-making James Bond film Skyfall.  But what better time to revisit two classic scores from Thomas’ dad, perhaps the all-time dean of the film score?  Following its recent restoration of Alfred’s score to 1951’s David and Bathsheba, the Kritzerland label is turning its attention to two more famous titles from the vast 20th Century Fox library, both from 1955: the romantic drama Love is a Many Splendored Thing and the comical romp The Seven Year Itch.

Adapted by John Patrick from Han Suyin’s autobiographical novel A Many-Splendoured Thing, director Henry King’s film starred William Holden and Jennifer Jones as interracial lovers facing society’s prejudices.  The film was not only a financial and critical success, but received a boatload of Academy Award nominations – eight, to be exact.  It picked up three, including one for its memorable title song by Paul Francis Webster and Sammy Fain, and one for the dramatic score of Alfred Newman.  The sweepingly romantic score by Newman incorporated variations on the Fain/Webster song as well as lush themes crafted by composer/conductor Newman himself.  Love is a Many-Splendored Thing has long been regarded as a highlight in a career filled to the brim with remarkable accomplishments, and you’ll hear why on Kritzerland’s new reissue.  Newman’s score was previously released on CD by Varese Sarabande, but it’s been spruced up for this release.  It’s been fully remastered, and two source cues (one by another Kritzerland favorite, Leigh Harline) have been removed from the main sequence and instead added to the end of the album as bonus tracks.

After the jump: The Seven Year Itch arrives on CD for the first time!  Plus: the track listing and order link!

Love is joined by another Newman score from the same year, for Billy Wilder’s screen adaptation of George Axelrod’s The Seven Year Itch.  The film has gone down in history alone for its iconic image of Marilyn Monroe’s white dress billowing as she stands on a subway grate, but there’s more to Itch than just that moment of cinema history!  Wilder brought customary finesse to his only Fox picture, and Tom Ewell matched Monroe in a reprise of his Tony Award-winning onstage role.  Newman supplied a one-theme score, with multiple variations on “The Girl Upstairs,” musicalizing Monroe’s character of The Girl.    The Seven Year Itch is making its CD debut here.  In producer Bruce Kimmel’s words, “We’ve included the main title, and several variations on ‘The Girl Upstairs,’ which represents most of what was usable from the somewhat problematic original materials. The entire program is presented in that unparalleled Fox stereo sound.”

This Golden Age two-for-one CD is limited to 1,000 units only, and CDs are in stock now at Kritzerland!  You can order Love is a Many-Splendored Thing and The Seven Year Itch below!

Alfred Newman, Love is a Many-Splendored Thing /The Seven Year Itch (1955 – Kritzerland KR 20023-7, 2012)

  1. Main Title
  2. The Moon Festival
  3. Destiny
  4. Waking the Sleeping Tiger
  5. Give Me Your Hand
  6. Departure
  7. Chung-King
  8. Third Uncle
  9. The Eurasians
  10. Gifts of Jade
  11. The Cablegram
  12. The High Hill
  13. Macao
  14. Viendras Tu Ce Soir
  15. The Fortune Teller
  16. Mark and Han Suyin
  17. Mark’s Letter
  18. God Has Been Good (Finale)
  19. Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (Source) (Paul Francis Webster/Sammy Fain)
  20. House of Bamboo (Source) (Leigh Harline)
  21. Main Title/Indian Music
  22. The Girl Upstairs I
  23. The Girl Upstairs II
  24. All About Love
  25. Finale

Tracks 1-20 from Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, previously released on CD as Varese Sarabande VCL-0202-1006-2, 2002
Tracks 21-25 from The Seven Year Itch, previously unreleased

Written by Joe Marchese

November 7, 2012 at 10:28

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